Time is important.
We all know this. We lead busy lives. Our days fly by. Time is valuable. Time is precious. Time is money. We bill hourly and count down minutes.
The premium on time is what makes it so powerful. Time is a gift. It is respect. It is consideration.
You need to give time to get it. While we are constantly on the hunt for time savers, often what we need to do is give more time to the communication process. This is true for speaking, for teaching, for explaining, for convincing. We don’t need to speed up and jam our content into less time, we need to slow down and give the message the time it needs to be delivered.
Give your words space. It takes time to gather our thoughts, to put them into words, to speak them, for the listener to hear them and process them. Breathe. Time is a blessing. It enhances the most important part of messages and demonstrates that you value the conversation you are having.
Taking time may be as simple as slowing down how quickly you speak (contrary to popular belief, making speedy, quick, snappy retorts often does not make you seem more intelligent; in many, many contexts or situations it can make you appear panicky and reactionary or worse). It may mean keeping your mouth shut and giving the other person time to speak. It might require filling the air with silence instead of words – one of the hardest things to do. It may even mean giving a long chunk of time for your message to be digested. Step outside the room, sleep on it, give yourself or the other person hours or days to think about the conversation and build a calm response instead of blurting a fast reaction.
Time is one of the most beautiful communication tools. Make the most of it.